You don't always have to go the extra mile to succeed. Even if you’re determined to convey a modern vibe at your cafe or restaurant, less can be more when it comes to the fixtures and final touches. With a few simple short cuts, you can create a space that invites customers to come back again and again:
Fresh white paint. It’s amazing what a quick coat of paint can do to make a shop look fresh and inviting. A warm white tone will brighten the space and will go with everything, and you won’t have to spend time testing out different color schemes.
Wall art for less. After applying a fresh coat of paint, it’s time to spruce up the walls. If you have a large wall that needs some life, you can use a large piece of fabric with a graphic pattern on it to cover much of it, or use stencils to create a mural.
Make Your Own Menus. Instead of having your menus professionally designed and printed, create your own and print them yourself—or at a local quick-print shop. If you keep it simple, customers will probably appreciate your approach. Be sure to ask for second opinions from people who will be straight with you; if you design a confusing or cheap looking menu, it will only detract from your image.
Skip the Uniforms. Having staff wear their own clothes, with some dress code parameters, requires no investment from you. It’s also the norm these days at non-chain restaurants. But if you want your staff to stand out, get custom printed t-shirts instead of heavy-duty button-down shirts with an embroidered logo. A bonus of the staff wearing t-shirts is that you can sell them to customers .
With these few shortcuts that won’t get noticed, you can spend your buildout or remodel budget on things other than restaurant fixtures.